MONTREAL, AUGUST 29, 2012 – The beginning of the school year will mark a new beginning for the Hebrew PELO (Programme d'enseignement des langues d'origine) Heritage Languages Program at Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc.
Spearheaded by Principal Raizel Candib, the expanded program will build on the existing foundation to ensure growth along with the students. This new approach will provide for expanded lessons and experiences that will further help develop their connection to their culture and heritage.
Coordinating the expanded program for Merton will be Hanna Eliashiv, a long-time respected educator in the Jewish community for the past 44 years. Ms. Eliashiv began her career in education at United Talmud Torah (UTT) in St. Laurent. After 22 years at UTT, she spent one year at Solomon Schechter Academy before joining the staff at Bialik High School for another 22 years.
“Every year, a new layer will be added to the program so that the students can realize that there is much more to the language, traditions and history of the Jewish people,” said Ms. Eliashiv. “As the students get older, the program will become more sophisticated and in turn, touch them in very different ways that are increasingly relevant to their lives today.”
“Our location is perfect for students to connect with their heritage,” added Ms. Candib. “We have been discussing potential field trips and activities. Nearby, we have synagogues from all denominations, as well as the Montreal Holocaust Museum and the Jewish Public Library.”
“Depending on the age of the students, we will have different activities and lessons,” added Ms. Eliashiv. “The ultimate goal is that by the time the students are in Grade 6 and are preparing for their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, they can will have a true understanding of not just the custom, but what they will be reading as well.”
“We have a number of Jewish students at Merton who deserve to have the best possible Jewish Heritage program available,” said Ms. Candib. “Through the language, they will have the perfect opportunity to explore their past.”